Craigslist

Tech news from around the web:

US prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether eBay employees took confidential information from classified ad website Craigslist as it sought to build a rival service, Reuters reports. The two companies have already been fighting in the civil courts over allegations that eBay took a stake in Craigslist and then misappropriated confidential information while it secretly planned its own classifieds site. An eBay spokeswoman told Reuters that the company would co-operate in any inquiry related to the disputes with Craigslist. Read more

  • Google is one of those companies that we generally refer to as a frenemy,” New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said recently. Perhaps, but today Google proved it will be no saviour to the newspaper business, either. Google chief executive Eric Schmidt told the Financial Times that the company had previously considered buying a newspaper or using its charitable arm to support news businesses seeking non-profit status, but is now unlikely to pursue either option.
  • Craigslist is on the offensive. The US-based classified-advertising website has taken legal action against the attorney-general of South Carolina, who had attacked the site over its erotic services category. The company, which came under pressure from law enforcement officials to take down the section, then did so, is seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order against Henry McMaster, who has repeatedly threatened the company and its executives with criminal charges unless it complied with the requests.

 Read more

  • Look out Amazon. Scribd, a digital document sharing service, is launching an online retail market for books and documents, betting that a surge in interest in reading online will help it transform into an Ebay or an Amazon.com of text. The two-year-old Silicon Valley start-up, whose doubling of audience size every six months has been compared to YouTube’s explosive growth, will let some 60m readers of its service begin charging each other for the rights to access just about anything uploaded to the service.
  • Facebook became a relying party for OpenID, the universal web login standard that is trying to gain traction. That means, for example, that Facebook users with an associated Gmail account will be able to browse Facebook without having to login if they are coming from Gmail. But Google, an issuing party, is not likely to become a relying party anytime soon. Doing so would mean surrendering some control of access to their proprietary accounts.

 Read more

  • IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano told invited analysts and investors Wednesday that the tech powerhouse was still on track for 2009 earnings of $9.20 a share and that it intends to keep spending on acquisitions, developing-world markets and research through the downturn. He singled out risk analysis and other analytics as a major growth opportunity, saying it would be “as big as” enterprise resource planning software in five years.
  • Facing mounting pressure from law enforcement agencies around the country, Craigslist said it would remove the “erotic services” section of its massive classified advertising website. In its place will be a new “adult services” section, where ads will be vetted by a Craigslist employee before being posted.

 Read more

  • Faced with industry-wide overcapacity, Taiwan announced it was restructuring the nation’s memory chip companies and creating a new government-backed group. The move comes two days after AMD and Abu Dhabi investors created a new company to take on the Taiwanese. Demand for chips is falling precipitously as consumers and companies cut spending on computers, cameras and mobile phones.
  • Although there is evidence that gamers are growing tired of music games such as Activison‘s Guitar Hero, one title may revive the genre. “The Beatles: Rock Band” will ship in September, and is an almost guaranteed blockbuster for the companies behind Rock Band, which include Electronic Arts, Viacom‘s MTV and Harmonix. The Beatles, who have sold more than 600m albums worldwide, have rarely licensed their music.

 Read more